Aoife O’Rourke has to settle for bronze after Naomi Graham loss

Antrim flyweight Brendan Irvine, who will be bringing home bronze from Sofia, had to pull out of his semi-final at the Strandja multi-nations
Aoife O’Rourke has to settle for bronze after Naomi Graham loss

Ireland's Aoife O'Rourke in action against Naomi Graham of the USA. Picture: INPHO/Aleksandar Djorovic

Roscommon middleweight Aoife O’Rourke had to settle for bronze at the Strandja multi-nations after losing to Naomi Graham of the USA in Sofia, Bulgaria.

Graham earned a unanimous decision after three tight rounds.

O’Rourke took the fight to her opponent in all three rounds — and neither boxer had to go looking for each other in an engaging bout.

But it was the American, who had former Irish head coach Billy Walsh in her corner, that got the nod from the judges.

Meanwhile, Antrim flyweight Brendan Irvine had to pull out of his semi-final at the Strandja multi-nations after picking up a head injury following a clash of heads in Thursday’s win over Bashkim Bejoku.

Irvine, who will be bringing home bronze from Sofia, was scheduled to meet Dan Asenov in Sofia, Bulgaria but ceded a walkover.

Bernard Dunne, IABA high-performance director, confirmed that they had withdrawn Irvine.

Dunne said: “Brendan sustained a head injury so he was withdrawn as a precaution,

“Nothing major, but with the (Olympic) qualifiers coming up we thought it was best to withdraw him.”

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